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Levy APD on aircraft, says Tories’ shadow tourism minister

The shadow Tory tourism minister has said APD should be used to encourage airlines to operate more efficiently by filling aircraft and investing in new technology.


Tobias Ellwood, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Bournemouth East, said the tax should be reformed so that it reflects more closely the CO2 emissions of types of aircraft.


“The government has classified APD as a green measure but it does nothing to incentivise airlines to fly with full aircraft or invest in more efficient aircraft,” he said.


“What we have said is we would like to see Air Passenger Duty reformed so that the airlines are charged per aircraft rather than per passenger.”


Ellwood’s views were echoed by Lord Norman Fowler, the former Conservative transport minister who is now a non-executive director of Abta.


He said taxes such as APD should not be used by government either as a revenue raising measure or to reduce an activity by increasing the cost to the consumer.


“As is the case for so many things it’s a matter of balance. We should try to make flying as sustainable as possible but that does not mean governments should have a policy of artificially restricting flights.


“At the moment we levy APD on the passenger. If you want a green measure you would levy it on the aircraft itself.”


Travel Weekly Aviation Issue - March 26 2009This article appeared in a special aviation-themed issue of Travel Weekly edited by Virgin Atlantic chief executive Steve Ridgway

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